Every year, since my baby sister Brenna won the Wendy’s High School Heisman, I get to go to the Heismans and partake in the festivities. I count sports luminaries such as Archie Griffin, two time Heisman winner (the only one in the history of the game) as well as Janet Hill (mother to NBA great Grant Hill and wife NFL great Alvin Hill). So during this weekend I always think of my favorite sports movies of all time. Because two things bring America together, sports and sports movies.
10. Necessary Roughness- A guy who was a college football great of sorts comes out of retirement to play major league ball and there is even a new love interest. As I remember, there is also quite a butt scene. It is funny, cute and in the guy gets the girl. What can I say? I am one for cheesy endings and one for boy meets girl. Though the guy did turn into a loser before coming back to the field, why can’t I snag a football player?
9. The Last Boy Scout-This is a combination of Bruce Willis working with retired pro football player Damon Wayans. The film is a combination of comedy and a combination of blowing things up, two things Damon Wayans did before we went nuts and Bruce Willis did before he got old and fat. Either way, still a favorite.
8. Sand Lot- What summer baseball season can’t start out with watching this movie about a bunch of neighborhood misfits playing baseball in a sand lot? It is a combination of baseball, hi-jinx and coming of age that still tickles my heart to this day. There is something about an unathletic fat kid with a Jew fro that still warms my heart.
7. League of Their Own- Well Duh. I have to love this one. It has my girls Rosie O, Queen Madge, and Geena D. Aside from being a complete chick flick that makes me laugh, cry and am glad I am a woman so I can get away with these things, it gave us the famous line, “There is no crying in baseball.” How many times a day do you say that?
6. Sixth Man-This is a combination comedy and tear jerker about a kid who’s brother dies in a freak accident while shooting b-ball, but comes back as a ghost to help the team win. While it is hoaky and predictable it makes me laugh after all these years and not to mention has a special place in my heart because me and my smurfette Sco (Smurfette being little sister and Sco her nickname. Relax my folks weren’t that hard up) are quite close.
5. Any Given Sunday-It’s Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and the lure of professional football. With a mix of comedy, drama and gritty truth it gives you a glimpse of what these made to play pro football pulverizing machines go through. Also, it is the scene where LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx had their famous off the camera fist fight. A must see, especially since it’s Ollie Stone in charge of the directing.
4. Angels in the Outfield- Yes there had to be a Disney film that made the list. This one is funny as Roger, a disenfranchised foster child’s dead beat father informs him that the only way they will be a family again is if the Anaheim Angels win the pennant. So coming to Roger’s rescue is a guardian angel named Al who not only tickles the funny bone helping to deliver a heart warming, family friendly story. It is one of my favorites of all time and teaches us about what is really important in life.
3. Major League-Yes I said Major League. Funny as hell. LMFAO. Charlie Sheen before he truly went cat shit crazy. Still gets me laughing after all these years when he plays the non-acting acting role of the bad boy always getting into trouble. Makes me laugh and makes me look forward to the Yankees.
2. The Blind Side-The true story of how Michael Orr of the Baltimore Ravens went from being a big, shy, quiet homeless indigent who wandered in and out of foster care to being adopted by a white family who not only became his legal guardians but fearlessly called him their son even going so far to put him on the Christmas card. In addition it is fun to see Sandra Bullock give an Oscar winning performance sticking it to Jesse James. Also, the husband of Sandra Bullock’s character has the best line after meeting Michael Orr’s tutor played by Kathy Bates, “Who’d ever think we’d have a black son before we knew a Democrat?”
1. The Express-A classic, this is the lifestory of Ernie Davis, the first black Heisman. Until this movie came out, the story of this young man was not told. Hailing from Elmira, New York, he played for Syracuse in the days of segregation and racism, going so far as to experience a riot as a result of his presence in the Cotton Bowl as well as not being escorted out of the banquet soon after receiving the Best Player Award because he happened to be black. Ernie Davis unfortunately succumbed to leukemia before being able to suit up for his first pro-game. However, the film paints a young man who was not only a talent on the field, but a true class act off. A role model and a hero for people of all races, people like Ernie Davis are what the scandal tainted world of pro sports is missing these days. As a bonus now not only have their been plenty of black Heisman winners, but his people now dominate the sport. Hey, good thing we ended segregation, otherwise pro football would be a bunch of white guys who wouldn’t run.